How Integrate Agency Changed the Game to Measure Success Based on Business Metrics vs. Arbitrary Marketing Numbers
2018 was a year of immense change for Integrate Agency. We merged with Wellington Group PR & Marketing in January to create the first fully integrated traditional and digital marketing agency in Texas. Merging two teams, combining processes, and developing a new company culture would be enough to keep any normal agency busy for an entire year.
But not Integrate. The whole reason for the merger was to have more talent, more capacity, and more resources so we could DO more for our clients. Thus, we set an aggressive primary goal for 2018:
Help 20 clients improve their businesses by 15% year-over-year.
To be clear, we weren’t seeking growth in your traditional vanity metrics. As nice as such information about impressions, clicks, shares, and traffic can be, they are quite misleading in terms of measuring actual impact on the growth of a company. Sure, we wanted to keep track of those numbers for our clients – and improve them month over month – but we realized that actually enhancing our clients’ respective bottom lines would be greater proof of our true marketing effectiveness.
In short, not only did we base our success on that of our clients, but we surpassed that goal with flying colors, thanks to a fully integrated marketing approach, as showcased in the examples below.
ARA / NARS
The American Recovery Agency is a national organization that trains and supports recovery professionals who reclaim lost collateral from debtors on behalf of lenders. Each year, the organization holds the North American Repossessors Summit, the largest gathering of recovery professionals in the world. ARA entered 2018 with the primary goal of increasing attendance at NARS 2018, and we accomplished this goal by retooling and enhancing the organization’s e-mail marketing efforts.
The results were impressive:
- 31% YOY growth in attendance
- A 13% YOY increase in open rate (and an open rate 25% higher than the industry average)
- A 45% YOY increase in clickthrough rate
While you want to have high open and clickthrough rates, they don’t actually matter if people don’t follow through on what you want them to do with that e-mail. Just as crucially, your e-mail marketing program could be following all the best practices, but those e-mails need to contain relevant content that delivers value and fulfills its promises to readers. Our team of experts combined outstanding email marketing best practices with website conversion tactics to deliver unprecedented results to the organization’s bottom line.
After nearly four years of working with Orangetheory Fitness Houston, we have had the opportunity to see and help the company grow, utilizing a combination of digital and traditional marketing channels. Integrate has worked with the fitness chain to connect them with potential new members through media and community relations, coupled with outstanding social media, as well.
When our client told us that they wanted to open five new locations in 2018, our team rose to the challenge and kicked into high gear. Our enhanced media outreach efforts (which weren’t too bad, as we garnered 68+ million media impressions in Q4 of 2018 alone) led to true business growth, with new studios in Riverstone, Midtown, Bellaire, Heights, and Fairfield, surpassing corporate membership goals upon opening!
To build their audience even further and tap into new audiences on a local level, we helped Orangetheory Fitness enter into a mutually beneficial partnership with Zoës Kitchen. The restaurant’s Mediterranean heart-healthy food choices were a natural fit for the fitness chain’s health-conscious clientele. It proved to be quite the mutually beneficial relationship:
- Zoës included “free workout” cards in to-go orders at Houston locations in proximity to an OTF studio.
- Orangetheory provided guest blog posts from studio coaches for Zoës’ national blog and eblast.
- Coupons for Zoës Kitchen appeared in all Orangetheory new member welcome packets.
- Orangetheory offered Zoës special promotions to its members (like free Hummus when you show your OTF performance summary)
- Zoës chefs collaborated with Orangetheory coaches through Facebook Live videos featuring new menu items in-stores.
Without a dollar exchanging hands, and just creative use of resources, our team secured tons of awareness for Orangetheory Houston in front of their target audience.
As one of the nation’s leading providers of outsourced human resources services, G&A Partners has made a substantial impact in its industry with its rich approach to delivering valuable content to both current and potential customers. In 2018, we sought to turn the company’s excellent long-tail content into conversion opportunities via a three-pronged digital marketing strategy that sought to present G&A Partners as a leading HR authority:
- Built PPC campaign backed by targeted keyword research
- Developed tiered e-mail strategy for different locations on the sales funnel
- Revamped blog calendar that tied together the PPC and e-mail work
While we wouldn’t take credit for all of the company’s growth, G&A Partners grew significantly in 2018 and October was their best month for new leads, to date!
As a client for 5 years, they started as a traditional PR and social media client in 2014 and have transitioned into a fully integrated client as we have been able to grow our partnership and really see our efforts shine through digital and traditional efforts.
Integrate Agency believes in setting real goals that deliver real world impact. Not only will they make a difference, but they’ll also make a bigger impact to your clients. Let’s face it – our clients’ C-Suite executives don’t always understand what vanity metrics are or what they mean, so relieve them of that burden. By talking to our clients in the language of sales, growth, and bottom lines, we believe that we set ourselves apart from the agencies that throw around impressions, clicks, followers, and shares.